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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 11/ 3/2008

Battleground Weather Forecast

By Matt Rogers

Checking the atmospherics of key election states

While the candidates are scurrying about making their last minute appeals to the anxious electorate, could the weather also have a vote in the final outcome? As Capital Weather Gang's Steve Tracton discussed last week, weather can indeed play a role in enhancing or suppressing voter turnout. So let's start our weather tour of the battleground landscape...

Keep reading for the battleground states forecast. For D.C. area weather, see our full forecast, and SkinsCast for tonight's Redskins-Steelers game.

Colorado: Dry weather with highs well into the 60s could favor higher turnout in the eastern half of the state, including the population-heavy Denver metro area. But the resort sections of western Colorado, including Aspen, are looking more on the cloudy side with rain and snow showers about.

Florida: The Sunshine State will have no weather excuses this year as its solar mascot will dominate the skies from Tallahassee to Jacksonville and all the way to Miami. The northern two-thirds of the state will be in the 70s and the southern third will be warmer -- in the 80s.

Indiana: More excellent weather is found here, too, as temperatures are anticipated to continue well above normal under the influence of Indian Summer conditions. Highs are forecast to be in the comfortable 70s from Evansville to Indianapolis and even all the way up to those Chicago exurbs of Gary.

Missouri: The nice-weather theme continues for Missouri as well. In fact, excellent conditions will dominate the entire state. Highs will be in the 70s from Kansas City to St. Louis and all the way down into the southwest corner to include Branson.

Nevada: This is our first state on the battleground tour that may see some trouble tomorrow. A Pacific storm system is crashing into the West and dishing out some rain and snow for the northern half of the state, from the Reno area across to around Elko. Highs should be in the 30s and 40s along with lots of clouds. On the flip side, look for dry and warm conditions in Vegas with only a few stray clouds and highs near 70.

New Mexico: Here, we should be far enough away from that Pacific storm so that most of the state is in good shape. Look for some scattered showers in the northwest, but key cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe are looking mighty pleasant with highs in the 60s and 70s. High winds are possible in southern parts of the state, so hold onto your ballot in Las Cruces.

NWS rainfall forecast Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning. Rain threatens parts of Va. and N.C. Dark blue represents .50"-.75". Bright red indicates as much as 3"-4".

North Carolina: The Tarheel state will be divided tomorrow and we're not just talking politics. The eastern half will be battling a coastal storm with widespread rains, possibly heavy at times. Look for trouble especially along coastal locations. Bigger inland cities like Raleigh-Durham and down toward Charlotte run the risk for showers as well, but overall should be a bit less wet. Highs are in the 60s.

Ohio: Shifting back to the eastern Midwest, we find more pleasant weather with a taste again of that Indian Summer in the air. You name it: Cincinnati, Columbus Cleveland -- the whole state is looking spectacular with highs ranging from the upper 60s north to the upper 70s south.

Pennsylvania: In what may be the biggest battleground state of them all, the weather looks best along the northern tier and in the western half (including Pittsburgh). Look for highs in the 60s and maybe some balmier 70s. Some scattered showers may try to work their way into the southeastern part of the state, especially toward the end of polling hours.

Virginia: Right now, it appears that southeast Virginia (including the Hampton Roads, Norfolk areas) will get the brunt of that coastal storm tomorrow with rain likely. There's a chance some of the rain makes it into Northern Virginia (D.C. suburbs), but the forecast details there are still coming into focus. Scattered rain showers are possible for the central portion of the state (including Richmond), with drier conditions along the state's western fringe.

Bottom Line: If the theory holds that the incumbent party does
better when turnout is suppressed, the best chances for that tomorrow may be along the eastern seaboard, from southeastern Pennsylvania down to eastern North Carolina. On the other hand, excellent weather could boost turnout from Denver to the Midwest and down toward Florida.

Consider the weather's vote counted!

By Matt Rogers  | November 3, 2008; 5:30 PM ET
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Next: PM Update: Clouds Now, Rain Coming?


I wonder how much of an impact this rain will have on the heavily democratic sections of southeastern VA and eastern NC. You would think it might decrease voter turnout quite a bit in these locations.

This is good news for McCain supporters

Posted by: jfva | November 3, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

the polls are so tight right now in North Carolina that this storm might be enough to keep the state red. will be interesting to see.

Posted by: jfva | November 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Just from casual conversation many North Carolinians are very motivated to vote and have done so early. But it's true, tomorrow is the day that decides it and hopefully the Obama GOTV ground campaign will be in full swing.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | November 3, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the cities are all very blue in NC, and down east is "Jesse Helms country." So who knows, maybe the rain will keep the Republicans home.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | November 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

jfva... I'm guessing this is sarcasm? Not too sure which parts of Eastern NC are "heavily democratic," outside of Wilmington, ECU and UNCW.

If nothing else, poor weather in eastern NC could help Obama and Kay Hagan, since the rural voters may not want to deal with traveling in the storms. Who knows.

I still have a feeling NC will stay red.

Posted by: me_ahogo | November 3, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

no sarcasm. here is a map of the 2004 presidential election:

There are no blue counties in the western part of the state while there are many counties in the northeastern part of the state that are blue.

Posted by: jfva | November 3, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jfva | November 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping for heavy rains in San Francisco to help Proposition 8 get passed.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | November 3, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting read from the NYTimes regarding this issue:

For what it's worth, the eastern part of NC may be somewhat more democratic leaning. However, eastern North Carolina, outside of Wilmington and Greenville, is sparsely populated. The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and Charlotte (both in the central area of NC--the "Piedmont") are the most densely populated.

Posted by: TarHeelvoter | November 3, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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